Back to Spain again, to Alhama De Murcia, where I heard that in 2005 a museum and gardens were created to conserve and protect the remains of some Roman Thermal Baths, and set out with my tripod.
I don't usually subject you to a lot of reading, but you might be interested in its history, Alhama's heritage, now known as El Museo Arqueologico Los Banos. This thermal spring complex was declared a national historic-artistic monument in 1983.
It was built at the foot of the castle in the 1st century, using the thermal mineral-enriched waters that flowed through the rocks there. Massage, exercise, bathing and chatting were the Romans' favourite leisure activities. There are 2 separate areas, medicinal and recreational, with separate spaces for each sex. Each room was a different temperature and the pool was heated by ovens.
The Arabs made these The Islamic Baths, for purification rituals before prayer, relaxing and meeting friends. The name Alhama comes from "Hamma" in Arab language, meaning bath of thermal springs.
A large luxury Hotel and Spa Complex was built there in 1848, re-using the Roman remains, in the golden age of thermal spas, but this came to an abrupt end in the 1930's and the hotel was demolished in 1972.
Opposite the museum is the Iglesia de San Lazaro (church), for centuries a site of pilgrimage for those seeking the blessing of the curative waters of the baths next door.
I offer you 6 images in an attempt to give you the atmosphere of the place, and in V6 you see an actual bath.
Alhama De Murcia
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